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October 23, 2011

Derek Holland


St. Louis Cardinals 0
Texas Rangers 4

Q. What do you think helped you most tonight? Do you think it was another year of experience since your last World Series start? Do you think it was being here last year? Or do you think it was your mustache?
DEREK HOLLAND: Mustache doesn't really dictate anything or how I pitch, so it's definitely not that. Just the experience is the big thing. Being here, I know how it was and the motivation obviously from what happened to me last year. And just kind of wanting to redeem myself after seeing how I performed against the Tigers in Game 4 I think it was. So I felt like I had to really prove myself. And I knew it was a big game to us because we wanted to get the momentum back on our side. So I did everything I could to prepare for it and get ready.

Q. We all know about Napoli's big home run, but talk about the influence he had on you tonight in this game, keeping you focused and the contributions he made that way as well as the bat.
DEREK HOLLAND: Well, me and him, we both have a very strong chemistry with each other. We hang out off the field, on the field. We talk all the time and pick each other's brains and talk about our approach to certain hitters and what to do. He does a really good job of controlling my emotions, making sure I don't get ahead of myself. You probably saw a couple times tonight he was telling me to square up. Especially in between innings there was a couple times I'd throw the ball and I wasn't throwing it right where I wanted to. So he was keeping me in check basically.

Q. Yesterday you were saying that you wanted more out of yourself in the postseason setting. This would qualify, wouldn't it?
DEREK HOLLAND: Yeah, I'd have to say it definitely did. I mean, I just made sure I wanted to be prepared. I saw how everything went last year, so I made sure I'm not going to let this slip away from me.

Q. I was wondering if you could talk about your two conversations with Wash tonight, the one prior to going out and the one in the ninth when he came to get you?
DEREK HOLLAND: I heard some of Wash's stuff, so I'm going to get him back for that. But the first thing when I came into the dugout, he stopped me and we did our normal handshake and everything. And he told me, "I know your game plan is you like to go in on guys. Don't try to hit anybody." I was like, I'm not going to. I know it would be a bad thing because of what happened yesterday. So I made sure that when I went in it was to kind of brush them off the plate a little bit, so I could expand the zone a little bit.
Then the second conversation I was begging, as he said. I didn't get on my knees. But he was like, no, you ain't going in there, son. And I was like, okay. And then typically he gave that nice little ha, ha, ha! That nice little laugh he always does. I was trying everything I could to stay out there, but unfortunately I couldn't.

Q. At the beginning of the game when he was talking and he puts both hands on your shoulders and he's talking to you like that, is that unusual for Wash or is that something he's done with you before?
DEREK HOLLAND: He does that a lot. He cares about his players. He is a very motivational coach. He gets into the game, as you guys seen him. He's like a track superstar in the dugout. But he's really into it every time and he shows that he cares about every single one of our players. And he definitely showed that today when he had a nice little talk with me.

Q. We've talked a lot about getting your emotions under control. Frankly you've talked a lot about that, and what was different about tonight? And do you feel like you kind of crossed over that bridge at this point?
DEREK HOLLAND: I feel like I definitely have since obviously my first game against Tampa. I knew my emotions got the best of me there and I didn't pitch up to my standards. I know I'm a better pitcher than I was there, and I continued to improve each time out, and made sure I could control not only my emotions but the adrenaline, too. So I wasn't so antsy and everything. And I thought leading up to everything now, I felt like I did a good job preparing myself. I also give credit to Maddux and Hawk and Wash for talking me through this.

Q. Again about your emotions, you heard Wash say that you were basically sitting in the dugout instead of pacing. That's one question. Also, after the game you looked emotional after the game. Is that right?
DEREK HOLLAND: Yeah, I mean, I was very -- for the second question, I was very excited. I've never really got to experience how loud that crowd was today. That's the loudest I've ever heard it, and it made my arm hair stick up. It gave me a crazy tingly feeling.
But before the game, yeah, definitely I have a tendency to move around a little bit. And I've got to control that and kind of -- I've changed my approach now. It's more like a boxing approach is what I've been telling everybody. I've got nine rounds and in between innings is when I need to sit in my corner and relax.

Q. After what Albert Pujols did last night, were you particularly tentative to when he came to the plate, or was he just part of the overall game plan?
DEREK HOLLAND: I just wanted to go right after him. I know he is a wonderful -- he's a great hitter. He's one of the best in the game, there's no doubt about it. But I wanted to make sure, I wanted him to see my "A" game, as well. I'm going to try do everything I can and try to go right after him. I felt like I did a good job of that today.

Q. Did this feel like the start you had in September when you were doing so well?
DEREK HOLLAND: I mean, I guess you could say that. I just tried to make sure -- I just wanted to stay focused and bounce back from my last start. To me I wanted to make it also as a normal game. I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself and be like, hey, we have to win, even though we wanted to get a win out of this so we weren't in a bigger hole. And I continued to go out there like it was a normal day.

Q. Just further to that point you just made and your emotions, given the importance and how much of a swing in the series this game could have had, how did you approach that in your preparations?
DEREK HOLLAND: I just wanted to make sure I could go out there and execute all my pitches. That was the main thing. I wanted to go right after these hitters. I wanted to show that I belong here. That was the main thing. I wanted to make a name out of myself, and at the same time I want to get momentum back on our side. That was the big thing. And I knew it was a big game, so I knew I had to step up. So I made sure I could do everything to do that.

Q. In the end just take a step back, what does all this mean to you? You've grown up wanting to be in this position, and then you come through and do it. And also, Napoli's home run, what did that mean to you?
DEREK HOLLAND: I mean, growing up as a kid, obviously this was the dream that I've wanted to do. I wanted to pitch in the World Series and get a win. And after idolizing Andy Pettitte and seeing that, I wanted to be like him. And I felt like I was capable of going out there and doing everything I could after last year. I wanted to redeem myself and show that I belong here to begin with, and I can pitch in a big game, as well.
And also, Napoli's home run, you can't say enough about that guy. He's playing unbelievable baseball right now.

Q. Is this the biggest thing that's happened at Newark, Ohio, since the Longaberger Basket?
DEREK HOLLAND: Yes, the Longaberger basket. Yes, this is huge for Newark. I know I've got a lot of people back home in Newark watching and cheering for me. So I'm happy for what I've got and blessed for all that, for all the great fans back in Newark. I feel like I'm not only representing Newark, but I'm also representing Texas, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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